234 JOURNEYS IN PERSIA NOTES are at present ostensibly engaged in the attempt to purify the faith and practice of the Syrian and Armenian churches, to enlighten their members religiously and intellectually, and to Christianise the Jews, waiting patiently for the time when an aggressive movement against Islam may be possible. In the meantime the Holy Scriptures are being widely disseminated; the preacher of Christianity itinerates among the villages, the Christian religion is greatly discussed, and missionary physicians, the true pioneers of the faith, are modifying by their personal influence the opposition to the progress of the missionaries with whom they are associated. On the whole, and in spite of slow progress and the apparently insurmountable difficulties presented by hos- tility or indifference, I believe that Christian missions in Persia, especially by their educational agencies and the circulation of the Bible, are producing an increasing under-current, tending towards secular as well as religious progress, and are gaining an ever-growing influence, so that, lamentably slow as the advance of Christianity is, its prospects cannot justly be overlooked in considering the probable future of Persia.1 1 The absolute fact, however, is that Christian nations have not shown any zeal in communicating the blessings of Christianity to Persia and Southern Turkey. England has sent two missions—one to Baghdad, the other to Julfa. America has five mission stations in Northern and Western Persia, but not one in Southern Turkey or Arabia. The populous shores of the Persian Gulf, the great tribes of the plains of the Tigris and Euphrates, the Ilyats of Persia, the important cities of Shiraz, Yezd, Meshed, Kashan, Kum, Kirmanshah, and all Southern, Eastern, and Western Persia (excepting Hamadan and Urmi), are un- touched by Christian effort! Propagandism on a scale so contemptible impresses intelligent Moslems as a sham, and is an injury to the Chris- tianity which it professes to represent.